Event Participation

Recently, I got a golden opportunity to be a part of a wonderful hockey night. It was an amazing experience where I got a chance to witness an ice hockey game and also build professional networks through it. The event was held on April 10th, 2014 at Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa. This respective game was played between Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils, where victory was celebrated by Ottawa Senators. I was invited by Algonquin College as a guest to attend this event and it felt great to be one of the valued guests and enjoy the game sitting in a suite. Also, nothing could match the feeling of being amongst a couple of known and reputed faculty of the college.Mentioned here is a screenshot of the email that i received as an invitation for the event and also, a short video including the highlights of the game could be seen at http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20132014,2,1197photo (2)

I chose this event because it was a fun way to experience a game as a guest, that too, with an added advantage of establishing professional networks with the renowned people from Algonquin College. I got this opportunity because since I have been a part of this college, I have constantly taken up extra-curricular activities and also had a title of a class representative, international student mentor and a studen10173796_10203524572380641_8742202062530519190_nt leader. And offering to be guest to this event was a little gesture from college’s side to reward the volunteers for their work. I was overwhelmed by it and was quite excited and proud to be a part of Canada’s well known game. I came across a lot of influential personalities of college, with whom I had a very healthy conversation and attained guidance and mentorship in regards to my future career plans. As I am about to graduate this June, I had a lot of queries and doubts about my career and also as to how should I go on with searching & applying for jobs. And this event proved to be of great help in clearing my vision about my career. In fact, I earned some good contacts that are ready to help and consult me through, and are connected to me via LinkedIn now. It’s only because of this particular event that I learned how opportunities come to you and how attending a game could also help in your professional development and professional networking.10259901_10203524572780651_5060988252947997227_n

Overall, I liked the ambience as it was so full of excitement and people’s enthusiasm and energy brought positive vibes. It was a good break from studies as due to my last semester, I had a lot of study pressure. It rejuvenated me and the best part was that I could also make some professional contacts and also got great guidance, being in a fun-filled atmosphere. I would definitely attend a similar event as not everyone gets an amazing chance like this which could serve the purpose of recreation along with providing a useful professional platform.

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Blog Post #4 Out of the Box

In the present scenario, where everything is based on technology, social media becomes an essential ingredient on social as well as professional front. I solely made use of it on personal level, until unless I realized that its true value could be generated professionally. It is because of this particular course that I have become aware of a lot more stuff about social media techniques than I already knew. Few social media tools that I heard about before but did not think that these could be of much use to promote and market a business are twitter, Pinterest and also blogging about one’s business.

I never bothered using Twitter much as I thought of it as something similar to Facebook, where we could post general stuffs and follow people so that we could read their updates and keep myself updated about the general current affairs. I never realized that it could have a professional use and also that, many business enterprises have been using it for spreading awareness about their business operations, attracting the prospective target audience. And there is no doubt about the fact that Twitter is on the verge of evolving as a useful and valuable social media tool, not only for businesses, but also in political revolutions, promotion & advertising strategies as well as a news-generating channel.

Pinterest has been used extensively by majority of the companies to present the visual look into their business operations, vision & mission statements. Blogging is another tool that is used to express views, share information and get responses and to monitor the success of the influence of the blog posts. Recently, I created an account on LinkedIn and found it to be really useful as it has helped me develop a lot of professional networks. I was unaware of the value of these basic social media platforms in regards to professional networks.

Apart from the above mentioned social media tools, few of the other tools that could be used to measure and monitor ones’ social media strategy are as follows:

–          Brandwatch: This tool helps to get reviews about various brands, what is being said about a particular brand, the people and the products, the trends and the competitor’s information about respective brands.

–          Talkwalker- It monitors the brand, reputation and goodwill of a business and also helps in dealing with customer service and keeps a track of the competitors.

–          Klout- It could be used for locating the prospective influencers of one’s business and establishing links with them and trying to help them to advocate one’s business.

–          PinReach – This tool helps to measure the Pinterest influence by providing an overall score and easy-to-read charts and tables that represents the most popular pins.

In order to stay on the top or at least connected with the world, making use of various social media tools is essential. One should stay aware of the available tools in order to stay socially active and make optimum use of the technology.

Blog Post #3 Professional Networking now and in the future

Professional networking is considered as an important stepping stone in one’s career, without which one cannot imagine of even getting started with the career goals. It is essential to build networks and links on a professional front in order to progress in life and to create a niche for oneself. The fact that I have experienced myself is that opportunities come to you unexpectedly  if you have enough contacts, people consider you for the prospective job options and contact you at times when you least expected it and wanted to get placed at a good post or a desired position. In the present scenario, everything works well with links and good networks. Networking does wonders and being social and participative is quite an easy task to take up in order to be recognized and considered in the society.

My present strategy to develop professional networks, at the moment, is to focus on building links with professional job holders and professors from college, both in person as well as online through LinkedIn. I learnt the importance of LinkedIn lately, when I realised how convenient it was to be considered for several jobs through your professional profile. It is a great platform which adds a professional touch to social networking and I make use of it on daily basis to check for available job opportunities. I find it quite convenient and rewarding to create and update profiles and connect with business people and also build professional relationships with them.

The moment I realised the importance of networking, I started engaging with people to a greater extent. And it has always proved beneficial, for instance, two weeks ago, I was working at cash at a store and I got engaged in a good conversation with a customer. The customer asked me about my qualifications and my plans for future and put up some basic queries. I told her I would look for a way to get in some corporate jobs after I am done with school, and there came a surprise when she offered me an opportunity to work for her. The reason she liked me was because I made efforts to engage with her, establish a good conversation and relation with her. I was amazed by the effectiveness of being pleasant and social, which actually proved to be successful on a professional ground. Recently, I also got an opportunity to carry out a job shadow assignment for one of my courses, where I had to shadow a person for a minimum time period of 5 hours. It proved really useful as I learnt about the description of the job and environment of the workplace, which I intend to work in the coming few months. Moreover, I made quite a few strong networks with people who are highly experienced and qualified. I believe building in-person networks are more effective than the online ones, but both are important in their own ways.

In order to continue with my current networks that I have built and also to keep on building more, I plan to attend professional development events and ceremonies. To start with, I would be attending a volunteer appreciation gala that is scheduled at Algonquin College on the coming Monday. Also, I would be attending an international night games night where international ambassadors of college would be mentoring and assisting us to help us in our profession after we are done with school. I also plan to attend certain Entrepreneurship programs, which are being held in Ottawa. This way I would attain business knowledge and would also get to meet people and increase my professional networks, as through strong networking, opportunity itself tends to knock at your doorstep.

COM0015-Strong & Weak Organizations

In today’s world, it has become essential for each and every organization to get active socially to stay in the eyes of its target audience. There are few business organizations that use it to an optimum level and the other few don’t make enough efforts to emphasize on this crucial aspect.Mentioned below are the two organizations that strongly participate on a social front, making use of the available social media tools and one organization, that still lacks the ability to do so.

Strong Organizations:

McDonald’s: Even though it is among the world’s top most recognized and multi-million dollar companies, it uses various social media tools to promote itself and reach its valued customers.It makes use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.It uses Facebook to post about its product range and upcoming changes made to the menu, lures the customers by providing print and go coupons on a single click-through Facebook.It enjoys thousands of likes and comments as it manages an impressive level of management with its fans.

There is no doubt about the fact that McDonald’s is actively engaged on Twitter, than on Facebook. It invests a considerable amount of time and makes significant efforts to maintain an active and engaging twitter feed.It has an approximate number of 995,500 Followers and never fails to post various updates on daily basis to reach out to its followers.In the year 2012, Twitter feeds did not prove to be that successful socially as it is in today’s date. The reason being that the use of videos to represent the McD stories involving people, talking about its ingredients raised questions about the quality and service of its food. But they modified their social media strategy to be successful on social front.Also it has a dedicated customer feed that responds to customer complaint. Pinterest is another tool that it uses to make the people feel involved with the brand. the corporate account of McDonald’s invites other users to pin their own food related images which seems to be a good way to build a community on the network. 

Zappos: This is another company that extensively makes use of social media, Twitter in particular and has achieved social success.It is an online retailer which sells clothes, accessories and shoes.This online business organization is known for its efforts, that it puts on building relationships with their fans and customers. For Facebook posts,it has a nice catchy tagline,”Let’s be in a Like-Like Relationship”, in order to get more likes and followers for its page and get more recognized socially.

Another strategy it uses to drag in people is” fans only contest”, where only a fan of the company can look at the content it offers.This seems to be an effective engagement strategy.Twitter is used to highlight interesting facts, to get involved with the customers.It also makes use of blogs to engage their avid fan-base. 

 

Pinterest and Google+ may become  important and gain popularity in the coming years. These companies might be using a strategy that seems to be a bit basic, but there is certainly a lot of way two-way engagement (customer-organization) on the go, which is the main motive of a social media strategy for an organization to flourish.

Weak Organization:

-Air Canada: It does make use of social media but the strategy is not that effective which would help it to acquire the benefits of a good social media strategy.Although it holds contest, at times and was also nominated for Facebook Games Contests, but it does not qualify to be an organization that makes best use of its social media strategy.Instead of holding contests, it should also lay emphasis on establishing relationships and promoting goodwill/brand image.It should engage its current as well as prospective customers in conversations through the use of social media as the customers who are already linked up with the company could use the same channels to spread the word and create more clientele further.

It is a top-most priority for a business to spread awareness and create a brand image, let people know about their brand and recognize it.Thus, Air Canada should move further, than to just being a brand image, and make efforts to build a community, gram more attention by using repeated exposure of its services.It should try to put an influential image on the market and being more active socially, would help it to manage through the competition and gain an competitive advantage to a greater extent.

COM0015 Blog#1 Tools & Sources

With the advancement of technology. a lot of social media listening/ monitoring tools have been made available, which are equally significant and it is because of this course that i got to learn about different types of tools and sources that are available to us, as before i only knew about a few of them. It is quite interesting that how a single social media site can share information to huge mass of people out there.

One of my favorite social media trend listening/monitoring tools as well as source for news and updates is Facebook.To be honest, I used to be really behind the times, as no matter how much i tried, i could never get into the habit of subscribing or reading newspapers. And i would rather prefer to get to know about the current affairs in an interesting way and by way of using  a social media tool which i use most of the times. And Facebook is a source which i operate a number of times in a day. I figured out that it would be best to join pages on Facebook that would keep me updated about the current worldly affairs.I have subscribed to few, reliable news pages. Facebook also helps me to know through enormous amount of posts if anything major happens in the universe.

Another source that works out best for me is Twitter, which never seems to fail to keep me updated about what is going in the world, as it offers hundreds of posts & articles.And because,i spend a considerable amount of time on my smartphone to stay social, i find these sources to be really useful and i manage to scroll through them on a frequent basis to keep myself up-to-date.The ability to search by name or hash-tag and to instantly see what is trending makes it one of the simplest source to be connected with the world. I have been only using it for a year now, and it is really an useful tool and the best thing that i like about it is that it has the maximum capacity of 140 words which restricts those who like to write stories, instead the information is short and point to point.

I also have various mobile apps that helps me to be in touch with the daily news, one of them being CNN app for iPhone, through which i can stay informed with the latest headlines from around the globe. I get breaking news alerts and have an access to watch video clips of live events.The app also allows me to contribute my opinion or story by uploading photos or videos directly from the app.

Basically, these few sites are not just to talk to people, be social and develop networks  but if used efficiently, these are great social media tools & sources that could help you to stay well with the ongoing events around the universe.Nowadays, people are using different social media tools to get the best out of them, in different ways, which has actually become a necessity in today’s world.

Source of image: http://annibraz.onmason.com/tag/media-pyramid/My-Media-Pyramid-image